Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions


by M of Hair and Other Stuff 

After having a recent conversation with a fellow natural about hair care, I decided to do a series on natural hair care and maintenance. The focus of this post  (# 1 in a series) is dry hair. Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because of the structure of the hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp of those with curly/kinky hair  are not able to travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Dry hair is a set -up for breakage and breakage ensures that you will not “see” hair growth! Other problems can also exacerbate this dry state of affairs. Listed below are some common causes and  solutions.

Dry Hair

Possible Causes

  • Shampooing too often
  • Use of products with harsh sulfates
  • Use of products with alcohol which can also be drying
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Sleeping on  a cotton pillowcase or using a cotton scarf, which rob hair of moisture
  • Low porosity hair
  • Not using water based hair products
  • Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
  • Improper hair pH
  • Excessive use of products with silicone’s which can cause build up and lock out moisture
  • Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
  • Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
  • Using too much  direct heat (Blow drying, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
  • Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
  • Salt (as if found in ocean water)
  • General weathering from the elements


  • Increase water consumption
  • Pre-poo with an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil
  • Find a product that moisturizes well, then seal it in with a butter while damp or wet
  • Use deep conditioners weekly. Some may need to  apply indirect heat through a shower cap, steamer, hair therapy wrap, etc., while deep conditioning
  • Evaluate if your water is hard or soft and if it needs to be treated
  • Protect your hair, when going swimming, with conditioner and a swim cap or use of a product specifically designed for sun/chlorine/salt, such as Ouidad Sun Shield
  • Determine the pH of the products you use in your hair and adjust the ratios/products accordingly

The take away is  this:  Find out WHY your hair is dry. After you establish this, you can determine how best to combat the dryness. Remember, the goal is to always keep your hair well-moisturized. Well, as best you can anyway. A well moisturized head of hair is a happy one! 🙂

Stay Tuned for Part 2 in this series.


How do you combat dryness and keep your hair moisturized?


3 responses »

  1. Thanx for this post.I will definitely increase my water intake and get back to deep cond every week I kinda slacked off.Any suggestions on a deep conditioner that I can purchase locally and inexpensive?


    • Hi Shahidah, have you tried any of the Shea Moisture deep conditioners? You can get them at some Walgreens and Target for about $10. You can also make a DC by adding honey, coconut oil and/or EVOO to a cheapie conditioner to see if that will work for you.


  2. This post helped me figure out what is going on with my hair, I’m not deep conditioning enough. I was only deep condition once a month and now my hair is suffering with excessive dryness. I will increase the deep conditioning to once a week.


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